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Wireless Networks

Zigbee Claims First Multi-Band IoT Mesh Network Technology

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Zigbee Claims First Multi-Band IoT Mesh Network Technology

The Zigbee Alliance announces Zigbee PRO 2017-- the first mesh network capable of operating on two ISM frequency bands simultaneously, sub-GHz 800-900MHz for regional requirements and 2.4GHz for global acceptance.

Zigbee PRO is the underlying network technology with support for full-stack interoperable devices certified under Zigbee 3.0. Designed to connect smart devices, Zigbee PRO 2017 promises flexibility and design choice for manufacturers, consumers and municipalities wanting to connect products across homes, buildings and cities.

“PRO 2017 is the ideal wireless solution to cast large IoT networks across buildings, business parks, large facilities, cities and venues challenged by connectivity issues such as reinforced concrete and steel studs,” the alliance says. “The deployment potential is tremendous for smart homes, smart buildings and smart cities.”

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EU Reaches €120m Wifi4EU Deal

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EU Reaches €120m Wifi4EU Deal

The European Parliament, Council and Commission reach an agreement on Wifi4EU-- an initiative bringing free public wifi hotspots in local communities across the EU.

The three institutions plan to spend €120 million on the funding of public free wifi services in 6000 to 8000 municipalities in all member states. Funding sources are still being finalised, but will be based on the view of the current Multiannual Financial Framework program. Once it is set up local authorities will be (obviously) able to apply for funding through a "simple and non-bureaucratic process."

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Z-Wave Devices Get Mandatory Security

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Z-Wave Devices Get Mandatory Security

The Z-Wave Alliance announces all Z-Wave devices require "strict and uniform" adoption of the Security 2 (S2) framework, the most advanced security for connected devices, controllers, gateways and hubs available.

The alliance board unanimously voted in favour of the addition of the S2 framework back in November 2016. From April 2017 a technical certification program administered through 3rd party test facilities in Europe, US and Asia will check all new certified devices carry the correct implementation of S2 security solutions containing rules for command classes, timers and device types. S2 devices should also be backwards compatible with existing devices on the market.

S2 removes the risk of devices getting hacked while included on the network, since devices are uniquely authenticated on the network via QR or pin-code included on the device itself. The addition of secure key exchange via Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hilman (ECDH) eliminates the threat of common hacks such as man in the middle and brute force, while the tunneling of Z-Wave over IP (Z/IP) traffic through a secure TLS 1.1 tunnel secures cloud communications.

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Cisco Wireless Networking for SMBs

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Cisco Wireless Networking for SMBs

Cisco releases a suite of wireless networking products aimed at small businesses and mid-market customers, including Aironet wireless access points (APs) and a Mobility Express software update.

The company offers a pair of new AP ranges-- the Aironet 1815 and 1540. Both are 802.22ac Wave 2 compliant, with the 1815 designed for indoor use while the 1540 aimed at outdoor use. The 1815 range consists of four APs, the 1815i (for small business use), 1815t (for teleworkers and micro-branch deployments), 1815w (wall-mountable unit) and the 1815m (more powerful and covers larger areas).

Meanwhile 1540 series APs promise to be tough enough to withstand what nature throws at them, making them ideal for outdoor shopping malls, truck stops or spreading wifi across an outdoor campus.

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Crestron Aims Zūm at App-Based Lighting Control

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Crestron Aims Zūm at App-Based Lighting Control

Crestron announces Zūm (pronounced "ZOOM"), a package of essential "building block" devices for the design, setup and management of app-based lighting control in any space.

The Zūm system includes wireless dimmers, switches and sensors, all engineered to work together wirelessly. Setup requires a few taps on a keypad, dimmer or mobile app, and a single load controller supports up to 32 devices. Each device has a wireless range of 45m in every direction, and mesh networking allows communications to hop from one device to the other, with no need for interface boxes or antennae.

The system can from standalone systems to centralised building-wide control and network management in "literally a snap," since the Zūm network bridge "snaps" into a Zūm load controller to add remote setup, daylighting, time clock scheduling, temporary overrides and other advanced capabilities.

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